Government trains volunteers to handle childhood illness

Minister for Finance and Economic Planning, Dr. Kwabena Duffour, has said the Government has trained community volunteers under Community Integrated Management of Childhood Illnesses (IMCI) programme.

He said it was to help in the detection and management of IMCI cases promptly in the Upper West, Upper East and three Northern Regions.

Dr. Duffour, who was presenting the 2012 budget to Parliament in Accra on Wednesday, said about 276 new functional Community-based Health Planning and Services (CHPS) zones had been established.

He said the Guinea worm elimination status in the country was maintained with no reported cases since May 2010 and that two rounds of national polio immunization were organized and indoor residual spraying was currently on-going in the three Northern Regions.

Dr. Duffour said the Ministry of Health in collaboration with the Ministry of Employment and Social Welfare had identified ‘’the very poor in society’’ for registration under the National Health Insurance Scheme to ensure its sustainability.

Other major achievements were in the area of claims management, which included auditing of 28,925,293 claims and the recovering of GH¢471,215 and GH¢755,582 from services and medicines respectively, he said.

The Minister stated that Government “will continue to implement programmes to bridge equity gaps in access to health care and nutrition services and also ensure sustainable financing arrangements that would protect the poor”.

Dr Duffour said projects would be instituted in the health sector, including the completion of maternity and children’s block at the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital in Kumasi in the Ashanti Region, construction of children’s block at Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital as well as the construction of Maternity hospital at Tema, all in the Greater Accra Region, and the provision of additional ICT equipment to support 86 district level diseases surveillance units in the country.

He said of five Polyclinics at Babile/Brefo, Wechau, Ko, Lambuise and Hain and offices for the Nurses and Midwives Council at Okponglo, Accra, have been completed.

Dr. Duffour explained that the use of digital X-ray in selected District Hospitals nationwide to enhance diagnosis was far advanced for implementation, and mentioned the expansion of six health training institutions and major rehabilitation and upgrading of the phase three of the Bolgatanga Regional Hospital.

He said there had been supply and installation of medical equipments in eight regional hospitals, 30 health centres, three teaching hospitals and 90 district hospitals nationwide.

Dr Duffour said there had been improvement in access to quality maternal, neonatal, child and adolescent services and prevention and control of communicable and non-communicable diseases in the country.

He said other infrastructural projects earmarked for execution to increase access to health care would include the completion of 50 CHPS compound in the country.

The Minister said GH¢1,799,434,809.00 had been allocated to fund interventions in the Health sector.

Source: GNA

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